Yo ho. I emerge from the shark-thick waters, knife in my teeth and a steely glint in my eye, having taken all three of my double-damned midterms in ONE DAY and lived to tell the scurvy tale. Yo ho.
I did it. Two finals and a scene analysis paper, today, on two hours of sleep. Smart? No. But when you’re Neo, you don’t have to be smart.
So I’ve only got one more final left in college, and it’s not until Monday, and even though noIdon’thavethecomicup I am still going to splurge. That’s right. Tonight, Nashville, Amanda and Jon and me and one more Angie show.
The Gin Blossoms were here. Here. Last night. I saw the Gin Blossoms last night. Here.
I put up a brave front, but the fact is I know almost nothing about music. This is a vast improvement over, say, 1998, when I knew literally nothing about music (embarrassing anecdote: I once asked Erika “So, what other songs has U2 put out besides ‘With or Without You?'”).
So 98-99 was my Big Into Gin Blossoms period. I actually own their greatest hits (only they could make their third album a greatest hits album [for the record, a couple of non-hits on there aren’t bad]). I knew nothing about pop or instrumentation or songs that had more than three chords, and they were a lot of fun to listen to. This was right after they broke up, I believe, and “Hey Jealousy” was still likely to get a cheer if it came on the radio.
It is frankly bizarre to think that I saw them live in concert last night. Granted, EKU is a large school, and it’s kind of surprising they don’t get more bands, really. I think Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds were here once.
Anyway, my friend Erin (Michalik), an RA comrade for two years running, called me at 6 and asked if I’d be willing to go see the Gin Blossoms for free. We got there as they were finishing their first song (“Follow You Down,” naturally) and there were like a hundred people there.
A hundred people. At a Gin Blossoms concert.
Maybe another twenty people arrived during the whole show. The Coliseum can hold something like two thousand. This is not the saddest part. No, that would be the lead singer actually asking people to try stage-diving. Or trying to run out into the crowd with a corded mike. Or getting said mike tangled around the chair he stood on (making him roughly my height). Or the fact that he dressed like he really wanted to be in The Strokes.
I felt bad for them, really. What’s it like to play to audiences of thousands, then break up, then get back together and find yourself playing for a hundred dispassionate kids at Eastern Kentucky University? Granted, this is probably just karma catching up to them for selling the same song so many times, but still.
I did have a lot of fun, in a surreal kind of way, and it was nice to hear the songs–exactly the way they sound on the albums, but much louder–again. It was good to see Erin again too.
GSP is done as of twenty-eight hours ago; the post-GSP party/nap/wake for the RAs is done as of seven hours ago. It’ll be good to get some sleep,but of course I’m sad. This year I actually had some idea what I was doing, and with a couple notable exceptions I felt closer to all of my Scholars because of that. I miss them.
There are stories, the ones I couldn’t tell while things were in session because I was on the job. Now they can, in fact, be told, but I don’t currently have the strength for that much typing. I’ll get to it soon.
Meanwhile: I get to go see Angie!
I said HELL YEAH. Show was amazing. Last time Angie played inCincinatti, 60 people showed up (the club can hold 140). This time there were maybe 40. That is a tragedy, what with him having a wife and daughter to feed, but for us it was kind of a treat too.
Angie–it was just him and his drummer (Derek?)–played for at least two hours, sans set list, taking requests from the crowd. About two of us, as I recall, were actually from Cincinatti; most of the rest were apparently just following him along the Ohio River. And then there were the four college students sitting on the floor two feet from the stage, grinning like idiots. We would have danced, but then the people behind us wouldn’t have been able to see.
So yeah, basically they played whatever we asked for–all but two tracks on this album, plus good chunks of his first indie CD (seen above, autographed) and his new covers album. And it was great. It was incredible. They got the fullest sound out of one guitar and a Junior Miss drum kit I’ve ever heard. Angie was wearing a Ramones t-shirt, which was kind of (situationally) ironic,because… Well. Bono always says the reason he started U2 was because he saw the Ramones and wanted to be in a rock band. I saw Angie Aparo, and now I want nothing more than to pack up my drums and piano and move into a van and play in a club every night for a hundred years.
(No worries, Mom. I can’t drive a van yet.)